How Shall I Compare Thee?Characters:
Clark, Lois, Lana,
It's not mine. Never will be.Summary: He recalls the details with perfect clarity, but can’t remember her saying she loved him back.
I wrote this after episode 7x01. Set after Clark trains in the Fortress and comes back. It's Clois but Clana overall.
It’s a bright day when he sees her for the first time. She’s walking out of a cafe; he accidentally crashes into her and her takeout doesn’t dump all over the front of his shirt (he has become especially skilled with his reflex speed). She looks at him; she apologizes insincerely and then cracks a joke. He offers to buy her another meal.
When he looks back on it, he likes to think it wasn’t a sunny day, likes to think it’s was dark and foreboding with great dark clouds and crashing thunder heralding one of the biggest mistakes of his life. But it’s not like that.
It is bright and sunny and perfect and when she tells him he should keep his old desk, he’s as happy as he’s ever been.
The shooting overshadows his first meeting with Lana since his return. There’s not a thing he can do to change that. He sees her again, Lana, at one of the darkest points in his life.
Looking back, he doesn’t think he’d change it for the world.
At first all he notices is only the good. How her eyes light up when she laughs, how her eccentricities pile up in the most bizarre fashion, how she says his name.
But he must have known it wasn’t perfect because he keeps his secrets.
Lana sees him broken and raw.
Lana sees every single piece of his fractured soul.
Lana is the comfort he needs after a long hectic, gruesome day.
His first kiss with Lois is sloppy but sweet. They’re both a little buzzed from a night of drinking and dancing and they take the long way back to her apartment, through the empty baseball field and to her front door.
She shuts the door with a big smile on his face and the promise of tomorrow.
He nearly gets mugged and hit by a bus on his way back home.
His first kiss with Lana (since his return) is of desperation and goodbye. It’s everything he’s ever wanted to tell her and everything he never will.
It leaves him empty and wanting more.
With Lois, things turn sour faster than he would have thought possible. Her quaint little habits turn into bigger and bigger annoyances; she stops admiring his chivalry and starts being stifled by it.
That night, he comes back to their apartment to find her with and bottle of liquor clutched in her hands. She’s furious with him for missing a dinner party. She screams that people die all the time, that all his precedence is a fool’s errand. He calls her a self-centered drunk.
They both say a lot of things they don’t mean.
But some of it is absolute truth.
He wonders how much of it is his fault.
He wonders how much of it had been their all along.
He’s not surprised when Lois leaves him that night, but it still stings.
When Lana leaves it feels like dying.
Lois never leaves him. She is always there. Or maybe when she isn’t there he doesn’t notice.
When Lana waltzes back into his life, she brings the same old heartbreak spiraling back behind her.
When Lana comes back from the dead it’s a miracle.
He stares after Lois and wonders when her hair had dulled and when her smile had stretched past genuine to fake.
He sees Lana and her smile shines through his entire universe. It helps him breathe. They don’t lose hope. They just stop looking for a miracle.
He tells Lois he loves her the night he proposes. They’re in a fancy high priced restaurant with a view of the bright light city skyscrappers. She’s in a red dress. They’re eating oysters, with a glass of white wine that cost more than most people make in a month. His palms are drenched with sweat. He recalls the details with perfect clarity, but can’t remember her saying she loved him back.
He tells Lana he loves her (again) in the loft (of course). He feels unnaturally calm even as their precious minutes dwindle to seconds and then down to nothing. He kisses her just after time expires. He’s had the words on his lips a thousand times over and finally voicing them changes everything and nothing all at once.
Before he flies out in his suit, she tells him she loves him. Twice.
He remembers divorce proceedings, long settlement talks, and the co-workers who take Lois' side.
He wonders if it was worth it.
He remembers Lana’s lips covering his, the exhilarating thrill of skin on skin. He remembers how his lungs suddenly refused to fill, the fever raging through his body, remembers what dying feels like and the light you see right before the end.
He’s always known it’s worth it.
Sometimes, late at night, he holds Lois’ memory next to Lana and thinks about beginnings and endings and everything in between.
There’s really no comparison.